Do you have a war bride or a war groom in your Canadian family? War brides are celebrating the 60th anniversary of their arrival in Canada in "The Year of the War Bride" in 2006, and war grooms are being recognized by a Canadian teacher-librarian for their role in the Second World War and the marrying of young Canadian women.
War brides were women from Britain and European countries who met and married Canadian servicemen, both during and after the Second World War.
Melynda Jarratt, of the CanadianWarBrides website, says that 2006 marks the 60th anniversary of the "beginning of the mass transportation of War Brides to Canada, which the press dubbed 'Operation Daddy', and which saw 70% of the total number of servicemen's dependents brought to Canada in a single year."
"Of the 64,451 war brides and children who were transported to Canada between 1942 and 1946, 45,320 of them came here in 1946 alone," she said.
To mark "The Year of the War Bride" across Canada, the legislation of each of the provinces are being petitioned to officially recognize war brides: New Brunswick is the first province to do so.
From the website <http://www.canadianwarbrides.com>, a person can go to Debbie Beavis' War Brides Passenger Lists, find out the important role that Pier 21 made in their arrival in Halifax, read stories, and access a listserve on the Internet.
To contact Canadian War Brides, write them at 510 Gibson Street, Fredericton, NB E3A 4E9 or by e-mail at <melynda@canadianwarbrides>. You may also call (506) 455-3568.
Judy Kozar, a teacher-librarian from Winnipeg, is searching for war grooms - foreign men (mainly from Britain) who married Canadian girls they met while in Canada attending the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during the Second World War.
From 231 locations across the country, 131,533 pilots, navigators, bombers, air gunners, wireless operators, and flight engieneers graduated from the Commonwealth countries of Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand for service in the Second World War.
She said in a recent interview that most of the men were in their early twenties, and the girls were about the same age. They met at a dance, for instance, and many dated only a few times. But they continued to write to each other during the war, and not only did letters sustain their relationships, but they usually strengthened them. She added that most couples still treasure these letters, and they are in family archives all across the country.
So far, 23 stories have been collected, but she would like to double that amount and write a book about them. "Time is of the essence, since more and more of these men pass away every day, and their stories go untold," she said.
For further information, or to send your recollections about a war groom, please contact Ms. Judy Kozar, 233 Rochester Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3T 4G6, or by e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>.